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Across the Corn Belt, dry weather and near- or below-normal temperatures prevail in the wake of a departing cold front. A modern-era record was set for fewest U.S. soybeans setting pods by September 1. The previous record of 92% in 2013 was supplanted by this year’s figure of 86%. Similarly, only 41% of the U.S. corn had dented by September 1. Since the mid-1990s, only 1996 (33% dented) and 2009 (37%) featured a slower pace of corn development.

On the Plains, unusually warm weather prevails, except in eastern sections of Nebraska and the Dakotas. Dry weather accompanying the late-season heat favors crop maturation and fieldwork, including spring wheat harvesting and winter wheat planting preparations.

In the South, Category 2 Hurricane Dorian is moving north-northwestward at 8 mph, roughly parallel to the southern Atlantic Coast. Water levels are rising in parts of northeastern Florida due to a coastal storm surge, and locally heavy showers and tropical storm-force winds (39 mph or greater) are affecting areas along and near the southern Atlantic Seaboard. Meanwhile, heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Fernand is falling across Deep South Texas. The remainder of the South is experiencing warm, dry weather, which is ideal for summer crop maturation and harvesting.

In the West, record-setting warmth persists, except along and near the Pacific Coast. On September 1, rangeland and pastures were rated 42% very poor to poor in New Mexico and Washington.

Dorian will turn toward the northeast later Wednesday, passing very close to the coastal Carolinas on Thursday and early Friday as a slowly weakening hurricane. A coastal storm surge of 2 to 8 feet can be expected from northeastern Florida into southeastern Virginia. In addition, storm-total rainfall of 5 to 10 inches or more in the coastal Carolinas could trigger widespread fresh-water flooding. Finally, tropical storm- to hurricane-force wind gusts will continue to affect the southern Atlantic Seaboard until Dorian departs. Farther west, Tropical Storm Fernand will move inland later Wednesday across northeastern Mexico; additional rainfall in Deep South Texas could reach 2 to 4 inches or more. Much of the remainder of the country will experience tranquil weather, although a weekend surge of cool air will halt a Western heat wave and leave summer-like heat confined to the South.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures in the Far West and across the nation’s northern tier, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail from central and southern sections of the Rockies and Plains into the Southeast. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather from the southern Plains into parts of the Southeast.

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Greg Soulje, a professional meteorologist since 1985, offers national agricultural weather forecasts via "This Week in Agribusiness."